Friday, 25 July 2008

Everything's better with parrots

Mark likes parrots.

We were in Babies'R'Us the other day and they had a cot mobile there that featured several jungle animals, including a brightly-coloured parrot. Now, the cot mobile we already own also features jungle animals, but no parrots. Mark was sad that our mobile was parrot-less; he wished that we had waited and bought this other, more parrot-orientated mobile instead.

But luckily for him, after an hour with my sewing box and my big bag o'felt, I was able to make this:



Hooray! Now our mobile has a parrot as well.

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On a related note, I've found several bloggers recently who are making the cutest things out of felt. My favourites at the moment are paper-and-string, who makes the most gorgeous little smiley-faced people and animals; Bugs and Fishes, who makes lovely felt badges and pictures; and Blooming Felt, who also does the mysterious (to me) needle felting. Take a look! If you like felt. I do.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

In July the sun is hot; is it shining, no it's not*

But I still have two new reasons to be happy:

1) I put the fern lace bookmark (see previous post) on Ravelry, as I said, and it already has 24 hearts and is in 20 queues! I was thinking of making up more bookmark patterns, I think I definitely will now. And give all the bookmarks away for Christmas.

This is the original bookmark I made from the fern lace pattern, by the way:



It's not actually being a bookmark at the moment, it's helping me knit the baby blanket, by keeping track of what line of the pattern I'm on. The cotton makes it heavy enough to stay in place nicely on the print-out.

2) I won the giveaway at Contented! Hooray! I'm very pleased, and also amused by the fact that I just did a 50th post giveaway, and then won someone else's 50th post giveaway. So thank you Rachel, and I look forward to receiving the bag and using it to carry my library books about!

Oh, and a third reason to be happy:



Mmm. And a cup of tea, I think.

*From A Song Of The Weather, by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Pattern: Fern Lace Bookmark

(EDIT 14/07/08: Kristin pointed out in the comments that I didn't say what yarn/needles I used. I've added that in now. D'oh!)

Here's a pattern I worked up a little while ago. I dug it out and knitted one up for my giveaway last week, so I can call this tested now, so here it is. It's a very simple lace bookmark and I got the lace pattern out of a stitch dictionary.


Fern Lace Bookmark



Yarn: I used Sirdar Country Style 4-ply, which is a wool/acrylic blend. I've also made one in Wendy 4-ply 100% cotton. So any 4-ply (fingering-weight) yarn would do, though preferably not too fluffy, or it won't show the stitch pattern.
Needles: I used 2.5mm needles, the same ones I use for socks.

Abbreviations:
P - purl
K - knit
k2tog - knit two together
yo - yarn over
sl1 - slip one stitch knitwise
psso - pass slipped stitch over
ssk - slip two stitches knitwise, slip them back to the lefthand needle, and knit two together


Fern pattern:
1 (and all odd numbered rows): P
2: K1, p1, k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, sl1, k1, psso, p1, k1
4: K1, p1, k2tog, k1, yo, k3, yo, k1, sl1, k1, psso, p1, k1
6: K1, p1, k2tog, yo, k5, yo, sl1, k1, psso, p1, k1

Repeat these six rows to form the fern lace pattern.


The bookmark is worked in three sections.

First section:
Cast on 13 stitches
1: P
2: K1, p11, k1

Second section:
Work the six rows of the fern pattern, and repeat them until the bookmark is the length you want.

Third section:
1: P
2: Ssk, p1, k until 3 stitches remain, p1, k2tog
Repeat rows 1 and 2 three more times. Five stitches left
3: Ssk, p1, k2tog
4: P3
5: sl1, k2tog, psso
Cast off.


I don't have much experience writing up patterns, so let me know if anything doesn't make sense!

PS: For those on Ravelry, you can find the pattern here. Please put it up if you make one, I'd love to see them!

Monday, 7 July 2008

As promised!

Here are some photographs of the baby's room. I'm so pleased because it's turned out just how I hoped it would. I apologise for the gloominess of the photos, but the weather here today has been appalling! Thunder and torrential rain.

The view in through the door:



And yes we did buy a lampshade, as I said on Saturday, but when we went to hang it we found that one needs to buy a separate lampshade-hanging kit. Grr. Mark has to go over to Bletchley later this week anyway so he'll pick one up then.




To the right are the wardrobe and chest of drawers, also Bob's teddy and bookshelves. Not all those books are baby books; most of them are our favourite children's books, which we intend to inflict on Bob at the appropriate points.




And to the left are the cot (complete with cot tidy) and rocking chair. The rocking chair is the centrepiece of the Designated Baby Rocking Area:



Yes I am going to finish that cushion, honest. The rocking chair is very special because my grandmother bought it when my mother was born, then my mother had it for all her babies, and now I have it for my baby. And that is why it needs a special cushion.


Oh, and finally, these are the Ikea pictures:



As you can see in the other photo, they are above the cot. There will be at least one more picture on the walls in here; once I have finished Bob's sampler, then it will go up, though we're not quite sure where yet.

And I promise that I will blog again this week, and I won't mention babies at all. I'm dreadfully afraid that I'm becoming a bore.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten you

It seems a long time since I've blogged, but I know I've left it much longer than this before! I needed a little break anyway I think.

Anyway the first thing I have to say is CONGRATULATIONS to my sister Jen and brother-in-law Ram, as they are expecting a baby in January! They had a scan on Wednesday and it was all good. I'm very excited about being an auntie again (Mark has four nieces and I share them) and about Bob having a little cousin so close in age.

Today has been busy busy. In the morning we went over to Milton Keynes and went to Ikea. We went there to get a lampshade, but ended up with some other* bits, like you do. When we've been looking for things for Bob's room, we've had real problems finding cheerful, colourful things, and Ikea has much more of the kind of thing we were looking for. Why are Mothercare and Babies'R'Us so focused on beige? Babies like colours.

Then Mark watched the qualifying for the Formula 1 Grand Prix, and after lunch he has spent many an hour with his flat-packs. He's just gone out to take all the packaging to the tip, so I'm sitting here at the computer. This afternoon I've been sorting out the blind (it was too wide and needed cutting down), and making crochet squares for the cushion cover, and generally helping. Tomorrow I will do some more organising of bits and pieces and then there will be photographs. I am so happy about getting everything sorted! Mark keeps teasing me about nesting but I don't care.

*Those aren't quite the right ones; ours were a bit smaller I think (and only £4.99), and different pictures. But that style.